When organizations decide on a communication platform for their workforce to use, it needs to provide everything that will help the company run efficiently and safely. Internal communication is essential and effortless collaboration is required; however, some may choose apps and platforms based solely on what is popular and what everyone else is using. This may not provide the most secured communication platform by design, and instead, leave companies open to the risks. It may also lack basic features that are needed for those with hybrid or remote workers.
With cybercriminals able to penetrate 93% of company networks, the need to make the right choice when employing third-party software is crucial. At RealTyme, we assist forward-thinking organisations, governments, and business leaders with secure communications that provide full data security and privacy, amongst many other essential features.
Here are some of the selection criteria required for a productive and secure communication platform that businesses may currently lack.
Many companies may operate with company-wide communication either through email chains or group chats. However, these channels can be accessible by guessing email or phone numbers to retrieve key people and access their identities. By providing options to block distrustful or unauthenticated profiles, you can prevent third-party access in any manner and deny them. The platform must also be able to identify the sender and receiver’s identities.
There will always be conversations and data that should only be shared and collaborated on by certain employees. Having invite-only, private connections where only those that are essential to the task or communication will ensure there are no unintended connections. Some platforms may provide an access link that can be used by anyone that has it, meaning anyone can join a conversation or access data. Ensuring invite-only access is crucial to protecting confidential data and information.
Depending on the platform your company uses, you may not have encryption enabled when communicating through voice, video, or file transfer. This is because some popular consumer-built apps and platforms may have encryption as a setting but not turned on by default. End-to-end encryption (E2EE) is a necessity for business communication and ensures secure collaboration. Along with invite-only access, E2EE at transit ensures communication can only be decrypted at the source and the intended destination. If the information did become intercepted, third parties would not have the decryption keys to access. As a business, if you have teams needing to screen share or send confidential information, E2EE is very important for secure collaboration.
Having full control over the data that is sent and collaborated on within a communications platform is something not all companies will have. This is especially true when using consumer-based apps for communication such as WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. As these platforms are free to use, they are an attractive proposition for companies, however, this trades complete control and data privacy. Using a non-subscription model can mean your meta-data is revealed and collected for analysis, sharing, and will mean used for targeted ads. A secured communication platform by design puts full control back into the hands of your IT department and provides various functions to protect data meaning no contact syncing, duplicated data on servers or the selling of data. Choosing a non-data-driven business model ensures you have full data sovereignty.
As we are only human, the capacity for error cannot be ruled out. However, putting in place protections to minimise the impact of human error is a best practice for organizations. Without these types of protocols in a communications platform that helps create an error-free environment, issues can arise. Instances of data being sent to the wrong intended parties, or poor communication between teams can be the result of human error. If the tools your workforce are given to succeed rely on outdated methods of communication, this too can lead to issue. Those using email to send data may inadvertently send it to the wrong party in their address book or be at risk of Business Email Compromise (BEC) that is becoming more and more sophisticated.
If communication apps are using an open-source platform, this ensures they can be completely transparent for checking and auditing purposes. At RealTyme, our products are based primarily on widely adapted, studied, and analysed open-source components (e.g., WebRTC) and cryptographic libraries (e.g., OpenSSL). Both
internally and externally, we conduct vulnerability testing and auditing to ensure ongoing transparency and data privacy. We encourage customers to verify our results with their internal security experts, and we can also provide a third-party code review or advanced system training if you require this.
In the same way transparent audits are necessary, having independent security analysis ensures this is tested. This allows for potential issues to be discovered before they become a bigger problem such as privacy leaks or security bugs that need to be fixed. An analyst review is the best way to discover any vulnerabilities so that whilst a consumer app may claim to be secure, it is put to the test to prove this and then any issues resolve quickly, ready to be tested again.
Granular Privacy Settings
With the RealTyme platform, users have numerous options within the application to control their privacy settings. This allows organizations to have a higher central control from the administrative portal to enforce policies on the applications. Having total control of your privacy is a necessity that should be provided as a minimum.
Pseudonymized server and application logs are kept only for a limited time through our platform. This helps to improve service quality and troubleshooting, and application logs stay on the device unless users manually share them with administrators. Again, taking a minimal approach to data logging and being able to delete data when no longer needed is crucial.
Organizations cannot afford to make the wrong choice with communications platforms. With a saturated market, it can be difficult to determine the most secure options. Here at RealTyme, we want businesses to be able to work with confidence that the data and information collaborated on are as secure and private as possible. This means using a secured communication platform by design; one that is built with your data privacy and security at its core.